Koronadal City, South Cotabato –Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) XII on COVID 19 – Economic Response Cluster Chairperson and NEDA XII Regional Director Teresita Socorro C. Ramos convened the said cluster on April 17, 2020, to discuss concerns on the pandemic through the use of video conferencing, with the assistance of OCD XII.

The Economy Cluster was activated pursuant to National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No.12 series of 2020,  “Recommendations for the Management of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation” issued on 13 March 2020.

The members include the regional offices of  NEDA, DOT, DOLE, DTI, DA, DOF-BLGF, DBM, BSP, DOE, DSWD, DICT, IC, Privates Sector Representatives, specifically the four Sectoral Committee Chairpersons of Regional Development Council (RDC) XII.

The group is tasked to ensure supply allocation and price control/freeze,  activate and monitor business continuity plans, provide social welfare benefits to affected workers,  and provide recommendations to protect economic interest.

During the meeting, members of the Cluster enjoined all local government units (LGUs) in the region not to hamper the flow of food supplies, essential and frontline services at major inter-boundary checkpoints, and adopt the standard checklists set by the IATF.

Members also agreed to request the LGUs to allow the implementation of the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) related to food production in order to ensure food security to continue in their respective areas.

In their discussions, it was agreed that all frontline agencies post their hotline numbers at every check point in the region.

The Economic Cluster meets regularly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Apollo Y. Manlawe, NEDA XII-DRD)